Colin Dobson was born at Newbiggin-by-the- Sea on 19 July 1937and graduated from Sheffield University with Honours in Science in 1958. He was awarded his Ph.D. in 1960 for a thesis entitled “An investigation of the host-parasite relations and host specificity of Nematospiroides dubius, Baylis 1926, Heligmosomidae, a mouse nematode in its normal and an abnormal host”. The interactions between this parasite and its hosts were to occupy Colin’s interests for much of his career in research.
Colin arrived in Brisbane in 1960 with his wife Barbara. He was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow in Experimental Parasitology at the University of Queensland and quickly progressed into an academic post. Colin was awarded his D. Sc. from the University of Queensland at the age of 31. He was appointed Professor of Parasitology in 1985 and made head of the Department of Parasitology, a position he held until 1998. His last University of Queensland appointment was as Foundation Director of the School of Marine Science.
Professor Dobson made substantial contributions to knowledge of immunity to parasitic infections, including the nature of protective immunity against gastrointestinal nematodes, genetic control of immunity and immunosuppression. In later years he turned his attention to practical control of metazoan parasites by vaccination. He published in excess of 100 papers, gave many invited presentations, and spent hours on the manuscripts of students in his department. He mentored many young scientists, some of whom, like Mike Rickard, John Welch and Paul Brindley, went on to leadership roles in parasitology. Colin took up his first sabbatical studies in the laboratory of the noted veterinary parasitologist Lawson Soulsby (now Lord Soulsby of Swaffam Prior) at the University of Pennsylvania, and the two formed a firm and lasting friendship.
Colin was a foundation member of the ASP and the British Society for Parasitology. He served as President of the Australian Society in 1984, during which time much of the Society activity was directed towards organizing ICOPA VI. He was later to be appointed to Chair of the Organizing Committee and contributed much to what was to become a tremendously successful Congress.
This content of this page is drawn from an article by Malcolm Jones and Robin Overstreet, published in the ASP Newsletter Vol.18,No.2, September 2007.